Results are in – Judicial Review on Tribunal Fees Update
Following yesterday’s article, the High Court has now delivered the judgement in regards to Unison’s unsuccessful appeal to challenge the tribunal fees system.
The system was challenged on two grounds:
1) The system was unlawful under the EU principle of effectiveness making it extremely difficult to bring forward a claim.
In brief, Lord Justice Elias held that Unison’s lack of evidence was fatal to the case. Unison relied upon general statistics (the drop in Tribunal claims) and theoretical Claimants without providing the Court with any actual case studies to consider of individuals who have been prohibited from pursuing a claim due to the Tribunal fees.
2) The system was indirectly discriminatory, particularly in regards to sex, as Type B claims (including discrimination and equal pay) required a higher fee than Type A claims.
In brief, the High Court held that the different in fees was proportionate to the level of service/resources needed for the type of claim. Unison’s argument that women were more likely to bring claims was unfounded.
The High Court does however suggest that a test case could be presented when an actual disadvantaged individual has been prohibited by the fees system, and has given permission to appeal in that instance.
Unison seemed to have jumped the gun in an effort to present themselves as an organisation ‘for the people’. In doing so, not only have they somewhat wasted the resources of their members (I would imagine considerable funds from the Unison will have been paid to their lawyers) but have potentially marred the opportunity for another organisation to bring forward a similar application.
Details of the full judgement can be found here.